Pierre Dørge – conductor, g
Danish New Jungle Orchestra, one of the most original contemporary jazz formations, and its leader Pierre Dørge have travelled all the continents, performed in more than fifty countries – from Canada to New Zealand.
For its Lithuanian debut the Orchestra teams up with Lithuania’s venerable jazzman – saxophonist Liudas Mockūnas, with whom it has collaborated for a decade.
New Jungle Orchestra was formed in 1980 and named after the legendary growling “jungle” sound of the early Duke Ellington Orchestra.
Other major jazz influences that can be heard are Charles Mingus’ experiments with combining improvisation and large-scale forms with the mobility of a group that is sized somewhere between a traditional combo and a big band; the Gil Evans flux between forceful anarchy and carefully layered, complex structures; and the ironic cabaret touch of Carla Bley.
In addition, the Orchestra collaborates with a large array of non-Western musicians, who add to the artistry that is one of the most original, intense and enjoyable to be heard on today’s global music scene. The collective has documented that in tens of albums.
Impressive are the discographies of individual members of the Orchestra. Majority of them are independent music producers as well. It is a stunning company of multifaceted individuals most of whom are Danes. Almost all members of New Jungle Orchestra compose and arrange music, lead their own groups, teach, and experiment.
For example, saxophonist Morten Carlsen also works as a composer producing interactive compositions and installations combining robotics, interface building, light, video-synthesis and pyrotechnique. Trombonist Kenneth Agerholm also works as theater musician, choir conductor, coach for professional artists and arts-in-business consultant. Keyboardist Irene Becker collaborates with dancers and poets, experiments with fusion of bali-instruments and electroacustic instruments, composes for choirs, big bands and wind ensembles.
Majority of the members have played in the New Jungle Orchestra since its conception.
Pierre Dørge, the composer, arranger, conductor and guitarist, is the spiritus movens of the New Jungle Orchestra. Dørge is one of the most prolific and wide-ranging figures on the Danish scene today.
He has been interested in modern jazz from the beginning of his career in 1960. But through the years he has also shown a keen curiosity about other cultures and genres.
Thus, elements from European, Asian, African, and Afro-American music traditions have been assembled by Dørge into an original synthesis. He has played jazzrock, and e.g. been heavily influenced by Arabic music and by folk music from the Balkans and from The Gambia. To this combination of multiple and widespread traditions Dørge has added his own tongue in cheek eccentricity, the result being his special brand of world music.
Dørge has toured all continents, chiefly with varying sizes of his New Jungle Orchestra. During his career he has worked with and taken initiative to form numerous groups, collaborated with an array of musicians ranging from swing to free music.
Dørge has shared the stage with John Tchicai, Yusef Lateef, Sainkho Namtchilak, Niels Henning Ørsted Petersen, Svend Asmussen, Don Cherry, Billy Hart, David Murray, Peter Brötzmann, Harry Beckett, Ray Anderson and Han Bennink among other luminaries of jazz.
Since 1998, Pierre Dørge has received a life grant from the Danish State as a composer.